Report and Conclusions of the Network against the Policies of Security and against Repression
The basis for our discussion was the call for the Network, published in the ESF mailing list (June 30, 2005), as well as the call for a Big Event / Seminar (ESF mailing list Dec 31, 2005). The Network covers the issues of the 15th ESF thematic area (security policies and repression).
We had a rich and fruitful discussion about the Network’s proposals for the seminars at the Athens ESF. The Network proposes 4 seminars.
1. The first one will be a Big Seminar with the themes of the Security Policies and the Repression in Europe. We intend to invite speakers, who either are well-known throughout Europe or who represent the movement against these policies in a widely accepted position. We expect a lot of people (and eventually some representatives of the mass media) attending this seminar. We hope that the speakers inform us not only about the contents of these policies and the relating repression but also about the reasons – politically, ideologically and culturally –. We also hope that we can enlarge with this seminar the interest for the aims of our Network inside and outside of the ESF frame.
We expect that the speakers (at least some of them) will refer to the relations of the security policies (and the repression) to the wars that the imperialists start in many parts of the world. We also hope that they refer to the repression of migrants and refugees, a repression which is closely related to the general (anti-)terror and repression policies.
This seminar will be organized and supported by many groups and organizations. Co-organizers until now are groups from Greece, the Basque Country, Germany and England. But it is open for the co-organizing and supporting by other groups and people.
2. The second seminar will deal with the issues of the European (anti-) terror laws and agreements as well as with the Black Lists and their appliance in the different European countries, mainly the – politically and economically – strongest ones. These laws and agreements abolish the democratic rights in many ways. "Security over all" is the slogan. The so-called "war on terror" allows everything, even torture.
The Black Lists are lists of individuals and organizations, which the EU considers "terrorists". The EU took these lists over from the US government. They contain over 400 names. Many of them concern organizations, which just support the fight for the liberation of terrorist regimes or against occupation.
3. The third seminar will be about the political trials and the political prisoners, about isolation and white torture. The big trial against the alleged supporters of the ETA in Madrid has begun; no one of them is accused for any "terrorist" action. We have the trial at the appeal court against the alleged members of the armed organisation of "17th November" going on in Athens.
Still there are some three thousand political prisoners in the Turkish and hundreds in the Spanish jails. Some members of former armed organizations in Germany, Italy and France are imprisoned more than 20 years.
4. The fourth seminar will give attention to the criminalization of migrant communities in Europe. Such criminalization has been strongly enforced after 9/11 and the bombings in Madrid and London. Migrants were detained in England for years without trial or even accusation. In Spain the authorities arrested people without any evidence, only because they were migrants from "suspect" countries. In Germany the state proceeds to the ban of further migrant organizations, which support the fight for the liberation of their countries from imperialism and for revolution.
We will speak about the conditions of migrant groups from Muslim countries since they are targeted in a special way. They are considered as suspects just because of their origin. The USA kidnapped Muslims in many countries and flew them in countries, where the kidnapped were tortured. In Greece the British and the Greek Secret Service kidnapped 28 Pakistanis after the London bombings, interrogated them and released them only after many days in illegal detention.
Originally we had three seminar proposals. The idea was to discuss the themes of the seminars 2 and 3 in one seminar. But the participants of the Network meeting considered it necessary to divide this seminar because it would have been difficult to speak about the anti-terror legislation, the Black Lists and the political trials and prisoners in one seminar.
People from Euskadi, Spain, Austria, Germany, Turkey and Greece were attending our Network meeting. It seems that there is more and more interest in the matters our Network is dealing with. The CIA flights, the kidnapping of migrants without any accusation or even evidence, the detention of migrants in foreign countries, where they are tortured – all this seems to open the eyes of lots of people, who until recently thought that policies in Europe could be changed smoothly and without harshly criticizing the European states for their so-called "war on terror".
(I’d like to add that in different European countries there are a lot of people we are in contact with, who (at least until now) don’t want to take part in the ESF process. But they are interested in the matters our Network is engaged with. They support us in many ways, politically and practically. It seems that we’ll have useful discussions around our themes at the Athens ESF, discussions also with people, who are more interested in the work of the Autonomous Spaces. Since we are interested in cooperating with them we will make efforts to co-organize such debates in the frame of the Athens ESF.)
Contact: Achim Rollhaeuser